What Drives Gender Differences in Commuting? Evidence from the American Time Use Survey
A wealth of research has shown that the commutes of American women are shorter, both in time and distance, than those of American men. This study takes advantage of a large, nationally representative dataset, the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), to examine gender differences in commute character and time. A method of calculating commuting time that accounts for stops along the journey is applied to ATUS data; analysis of gender differences in the number, type, and length of stops demonstrates the need for this commuting measure. Explanations for womenâs shorter commutes are reviewed and tested alongside predicted relationships from a simple labor supply model. Controlling for marital status and the presence of children, women are more likely to be accompanied by children for their commute, and women tend to make longer stops than men. Multivariate regression results support two previously proposed explanations for the gender commuting time gap, based on gender differences in wages and types of jobs held. Contrary to the previously proposed Household Responsibility Hypothesis, this analysis provides evidence that greater household responsibility does not explain womenâs shorter commutes.
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